Stacie's Breech Vaginal Birth Story

By Stacie

I had always had checkups at the OHSU Center for Women’s Health. I liked that they had a nurse-midwife program on-site, but that they worked with all kinds of physician specialists if needed. I think that’s pretty rare; usually, you have to choose.

When I got pregnant with my daughter, Ava, I would usually see Elizabeth Kavanaugh, one of the nurse-midwives, but when we discovered Ava was in the breech position and wasn’t responding to our efforts to get her to turn, she referred me to Dr. Mark Nichols.

First, we did an ultrasound to see if the baby could be turned. But that’s when we learned that because of the shape of my uterus, she didn’t have the room to turn. We talked about what to do next, and that’s when we found out about OHSU’s breech birth program. After several visits and a detailed ultrasound, MRI and fetal monitoring, we determined I was a candidate.

When I went into labor, Dr. Fisher was on call, and he was great; he’d done the original ultrasound on me when we’d tried to turn Ava. Elizabeth was on call that night, so she coached me through the birth, as well. And the nurses—well, I can’t even talk about how fantastic they are. You are so incapable when you first give birth, and they are there for you.

It can be a difficult transition to leave midwife care and go to an OB/GYN, but the entire team worked together so well to help me have exactly the birth I wanted. I had a natural birth and a healthy baby—and a lot of support around those decisions.

There are things that seem so important when you’re pregnant—but not once you’re in labor. You just want a healthy baby, healthy you. That’s what I got at OHSU.